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What you need to know about college’s most common STI

Bunny Roberts, Contributing Writer

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According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus. Papilloma is the medical term for a wart, as HPV can cause genital warts.

The CDC states HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Lab tests and imaging are sometimes required for a diagnosis and there’s currently no cure. Fortunately, vaccines have been created to help prevent it. Here are 10 things you definitely need to know about it.

1. 91 percent of people do not show symptoms. Males are typically diagnosed via HPV DNA test. Women can be diagnosed following a Pap smear. Cleveland Clinic recommends getting tested at least once a year. Your insurance will usually cover it.

2. HPV is the least known about STI. In one survey done in California, out of 2300 college students, only 110 correctly answered questions about HPV. Also, a study done by Kaiser Family Foundation found that 70 percent of adults have never even heard of HPV.

3. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV 99.7 percent of the time. HPV causes dysplasia, which is the presence of cells of an abnormal type within a tissue, which may signify a stage preceding the development of cancer, according to Google definitions.

4. Condoms don’t protect against it. This gnarly disease isn’t solely spread through bodily fluids. Brief skin in skin contact is enough to spread it.

5. 74 percent of people will get HPV in their lives.

6. HPV never goes away. There is currently no cure for HPV (or any STD’s that begin with the letter H) but the virus can go inactive. Just keep in mind, although it may go inactive, that doesn’t mean it can’t be spread.

7. You can get HPV in your throat. This is another reminder that HPV can be spread without bodily fluids. Oral sex, even if brief, can spread the virus. Dysplasia can also occur in the throat and lead to cancer.

8. There are over 70 types of HPV. Some studies say 70 types; others leave the number around 100. However, most professionals that only about 30 are sexually transmitted.

9. Ages 15 to 24 are most at risk. Fortunately, the percentage has been steadily declining since the CDC has been recommending the HPV vaccine.

10. HPV can be spread without an outbreak. This is the main reason it’s important to get tested. 74 percent of people get HPV because there are often no symptoms. Also, once diagnosed, people mistakenly believe that they can’t spread this disease when they don’t have an outbreak.

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What you need to know about college’s most common STI